Program extends research opportunities to top freshmen

GREEN BAY — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has offered nine freshmen, who excelled in and out of the classroom during high school, the opportunity to participate in the new Academic Enrichment Experience.

The freshmen — who have finished high school with a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.8 or above, compiled an ACT score at or above 27, and have taken at least one Advanced Placement course — will participate in a semester-long independent study during their first year at UW-Green Bay.

“The program will accelerate the process of career exploration for these new students,” said Prof. David Dolan, Natural and Applied Sciences. “Given the breadth and depth of these students’ skills, the participating faculty welcomes the challenge of engaging these freshmen in a quality research experience.”

Academically talented students often indicate that they are eager to work one-on-one with a professor in a research-driven experience, but because they are new to the collegiate experience, they often don’t know where to begin. This program is structured so they are guided through to their goal.

The Academic Enrichment Experience, a pilot program, will have the freshmen working with a professor, graduate students and UW-Green Bay upperclassmen on an academic credit-earning independent study. Together, participants and professors develop research projects that are carried out through the semester.

Freshmen who conduct independent studies should gain clearer understandings of their major or intended major; develop professional relationships with experts in their prospective career fields; interact often with professors; and begin their college experience by exceeding the typical academic expectations of a first-year student, program organizers say. The students will get a taste of an academic major and also work toward a more substantive research project later in their academic careers.

“We think that these nine students will succeed in this stimulating, yet flexible learning environment,” said Admissions Office Senior Adviser for Multicultural Recruitment Ronald Morris, who helped develop the pilot program. “We also realize that the successful completion of this project requires a high level of commitment and enthusiasm. Successful participants must be willing to work hard to excel. The students participating in the Academic Enrichment Experience have already shown these character traits.”

Participating students

• Victoria Bodendorfer, Germantown (Germantown High School), will explore interests in chemistry and the environment with Prof. Michael Zorn, Natural and Applied Sciences.

• Andrew Docter, Markesan (Markesan High School), will explore interests in environmental consulting and practical research with Prof. John Katers, Natural and Applied Sciences.

• Kayla Henderson, West Bend (West Bend West High School), will explore interests in invertebrates and veterinarian studies with Prof. Michael Draney, Natural and Applied Sciences.

• Jamie Hurley, Denmark (Denmark High School), will explore interests in exercise science with Prof. Amanda Nelson, Natural and Applied Sciences.

•Erica Kiela, Plymouth
(Plymouth Comprehensive High School), will explore interests in nutritional sciences and medicine with Prof. Debra Pearson, Human Biology.

• Luke Konkol, Wisconsin Rapids (Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School), will explore interests in English and literature with Prof. Aeron Haynie, Humanistic Studies.

• Ian McSweeny, Janesville (Milton High School), will explore interests in biology with Prof. Robert Howe, Natural and Applied Sciences.

• Jennifer Short, Green Bay (Green Bay Preble High School), will explore interests in water research and biology with Prof. Angela Bauer-Dantoin, Human Biology.

• Preston Waala, Waupaca
(Waupaca High School), will explore interests in math and environmental sciences with Prof. David Dolan, Natural and Applied Sciences.